January Provender News

January 16th 2018

by Vicki Reich

One year ago yesterday, I received a fateful text from one of our board member. I was on my way home from an annual weekend retreat with some of my best friends and had stopped for gas in a very small town in North Idaho that miraculously had cell phone service.  This board member and I had served on the Board for many years and she thought I would like to know that Susan (our long serving, former ED) had decided to step down.   I spent the rest of the drive home thinking about whether I might want to step in and help Provender through this transition.

I was reminded of all this as my friends and I made that same drive home yesterday.  I began thinking of all the things I had learned and done in the intervening time.  What surprised me most during that reflection was how much more I have to learn.  Provender definitely runs on a yearly cycle.  Sure, there are things I do daily or weekly, but to even begin to grasp all the nuances of running this organization you have to make it through a full year.  It will probably take repeating the process a couple of more times before I have a firm grasp on all of it.  Right now I’m learning all about membership renewal for the first time while just beginning to repeat the process of planning a conference.

At each step of my learning process, member feedback has been so important.  The only way I know if Provender is working for our members is when I hear back from you.  Do you value the e-mail I just sent?  Were the instructions for renewing your membership clear enough?  Did you like the presenters and keynotes at the conference?  Only members can answer those questions and the feedback I receive helps me and the board serve our members better.  In the next few weeks, we will be sending out a survey to ask you a few specific questions about what you’d like Provender to do to help your business succeed.  I hope you take a few minutes to respond because we really want to know what you think.  And, of course, you can contact me anytime to offer ideas or suggestions on how I can serve you better.  Happy New Year!